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Hosting Special International Programs

International Scholar Orientation

The Office for International Students and Scholars (OISS) is available to advise University departments on the development and sponsorship of special programs that host international visitors at UD. Our immigration specialists can provide guidance on relevant US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of State (DOS) immigration requirements and compliance standards and help determine the appropriate visa category for program participants. UD departments are encouraged to set up a consultation with OISS by contacting the office at (302) 831-2115 or We ask that you also fill out the New Special Program Form and submit to our office ahead of your consultation.

Documents & Visa Categories

There are two main visa categories, F and J, for which the university has been designated by DHS and DOS to host international student and scholars. Listed below is a brief summary of the requirements, regulations and special circumstances involved in creating international students and scholar programs under these categories.

F-1 Students

The F-1 student visa category is for individuals pursuing a "full course of study" to achieve a specific educational or professional objective at an academic institution in the United States. Students on F-1 visa must be matriculated into an approved academic or language training program designated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the university’s SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) record. Immigration document issued by OISS for F-1 student is the I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status).

J-1 Exchange Visitors

The Exchange Visitor (J) non-immigrant visa category is for individuals approved to participate in work and study-based exchange visitor programs (EVP). The immigration document that Exchange Visitors will receive from OISS to apply for a J-1 visa is a DS-2019 form (eligibility document). Visiting scholars in special programs can hold the following visa categories:

IMPORTANT NOTE: When hosting J-1 EV at the University of Delaware, UD Departments are required to comply with US Department of State regulations and OISS policies during the entire duration of the EV program. To read a list of special requirements, please refer to the document entitled “J-1 Exchange Visitors – Guidance for UD Departments”. In addition, a detailed list of responsibilities can be found on the OISS website:

*K-12 important notice: Exchange visitors under the Professor, Research Scholar, Short-Term Scholar or other university level categories are not permitted to conduct activities or programs in pre-schools, primary and secondary school systems, summer camps, or other local community activities for K-12 students.

Special Considerations and Requirements for J-1 Exchange Visitors

For UD Departments interested in hosting J-1 EVs as a visiting scholar in the categories of Research Scholar, Professor, Short-Term Scholar, or Specialist, please always refer to the OISS website: Exchange Visitors in these categories cannot submit a request directly to OISS. Once all required documents are received, OISS will prepare a DS2019 Form (Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor J-1 Status) and send it to the exchange visitor along with instructions on paying the SEVIS fee and applying for a visa at a U.S. consulate. Consular processing times vary by country and city. Therefore, to allow for timely processing times, please submit visiting scholar requests to OISS at least 6 weeks prior to the proposed start date at the University.

If you have questions about any of the aforementioned information regarding the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program, please contact OISS.

Special International Program Form

The purpose of this form is to help OISS understand your special program, in order to ensure that the participants are granted the eligibility document that most closely matches the activities outlined in your program. This will give them the best opportunity to obtain a visa in alignment with US immigration standards. OISS will set up a meeting to discuss the program with you thoroughly, after we review the information on the form.

To access the online application form, please visit the following website: